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Crop Biotech Update

New Genome Editing Tool Designed to Make Big DNA Edits

October 21, 2020

A new tool for cutting large chunks of DNA out of a cell's genome has been developed by experts from the University of California, San Francisco. The new system, dubbed as CRISPR-Cas3, is reported in Nature Methods.

"Cas3 is like Cas9 with a motor—after finding its specific DNA target, it runs on DNA and chews it up like a Pac-Man," said Joseph Bondy-Denomy, one of the authors of the study.

Compared to the popular CRISPR-Cas9 system, the new system uses a different bacterial immune system. As indicated in its name, the key enzyme is Cas3, which acts as a molecular wood chipper and is deleting longer stretches of DNA rapidly and accurately. The capability to delete or replace long stretches of DNA allows scientists to more efficiently evaluate the importance of genomic regions that has DNA sequences with undefined functions.

Read more details from Nature Methods and Phys.org.

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